Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pressure?



How's the weather there, friend? It's been stormy and rainy here, practically all summer. With storms come changes in pressure, and that can be a real pain for those of us with joint problems. Each time the pressure changes, the fluid in our joints expands and contracts, causing aches and pains to increase and become more resistant to our usual methods of pain relief. The picture above shows the barometric pressure just a few days ago in my neighborhood. Needless to say, that was a rough day.

But that squiggly pressure line got me thinking about how the changes in our circumstances affect our attitude, our faith, and our walk with Christ. There are a lot of stresses in life that we have grown accustomed to. Aside from pain issues, there's work, home life, friends, extended family, and the pressures of just living in this world. These are things that we're used to, that we've built up a tolerance to. We can handle these pressures, because they are a known quantity, and we've built up some stamina in those areas. 

What happens, though, when the pressure changes? Perhaps pain has increased, or your disease has progressed. Maybe you've discovered that your spouse has been unfaithful, your child is using drugs, or your financial troubles have reached a crisis. Just as the fluid in our joints reacts to changes in pressure, so our hearts react when our regular stresses expand. What do we do when stress increases and threatens to overwhelm our usual coping methods?

A barometer like the one in the picture above is a good sign that a storm is brewing. I’m not a meteorologist, but I do know that when the pressure cycles up and down rapidly, thunder is not far behind. It booms and makes us jump out of our bed!  But, while it may not be pleasant, the storm does not have to take us by surprise. Knowing that the pressure is changing can give us a heads up to prepare.

In the same way, if we are not always preparing our hearts for unexpected stress, we may be caught off guard when it booms with a loud clap in our hearts. But none of our stresses or increases in pressure have ever caught God unaware. In His love toward us, he timed them perfectly, to draw us to himself and to make us more like Him. He knew before the foundation of the world exactly what it would take to draw us to himself, and He knows today the perfect trial, and the perfect amount of pressure needed to keep us there.

Our stresses, pressures and trials will always wax and wane, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Even when our troubles seem to be at their worst, He is always at His best, and always seeking our best. As we watch the squiggly line of our lives, we can be sure of one thing: Change. But we can also be sure that our God will never change. Our coping skills are based in the great Gospel of God’s Grace and Truth. No amount of pressure will ever change that. Hallelujah! What a savior!